New Cadre Policy for IAS, IPS Officers and Lateral Entry in Civil Services (Important) (Download PDF)


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A new policy for cadre allocation was finalized by the Central government for IAS, IPS and other officers, to ensure “national integration” in the country’s top bureaucracy. Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers will have to choose cadres from a set of zones instead of states (currently officers are allocated a cadre state or a set of states)

  • From now, officers may be posted on central deputation during the course of their service after fulfilling certain eligibility conditions.

Cadre Based on Zones Not States

The existing 26 cadres are now divided into five zones:

  • Zone-I has Seven Cadres: AGMUT (also known as Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories), Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana.
  • Zone-II: Consists of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha
  • Zone-III: Comprises Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • Zone-IV: West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura and Nagaland
  • Zone-V: Has Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

What Happens in The UPSC Exam?

  • Under the new policy, candidates appearing for the civil services examination give their choices in a descending order of preference among the various zones.
  • Candidates then indicate cadres in order of preference from each zone.
  • Candidate can list all 26 cadres, following this process.
  • Preference for the zones remains in the same order and no change will be permitted there.
  • A candidate not giving preference for zones or cadres assumed to have no specific preference
  • A candidate not allocated one of the preferred cadres is allotted along with other candidates any of the remaining cadres, arranged in an alphabetical order, where there are vacancies
  • Candidates allotted their home cadre on the basis of merit, preference and vacancy in the category.
  • Policy likely to be put into effect from this year.

Purpose of New Policy

  • New policy ensures that officers from Bihar, for instance, will get to work in southern and northeastern states, which may not be their preferred cadres.
  • Ensure national integration as officers get to work in non-domicile state- upholding the idea behind the all-India services.

Lateral Movement in Services

  • Recruitment to posts in Government made through various recruitment agencies like Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission etc. , which conduct examinations based on requirements projected by various ministries, departments, and offices.
  • However, NITI Aayog in the Three Year Action Agenda for 2017 - 2020 recommended inducting specialists through lateral entry in policymaking areas on fixed term contract.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 6, 2017

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